One of the goals, here at Fossil Gardens, is to restore the ecosystem that once dominated this area. This region of west central Missouri was defined by the prairie. A savannah-like setting was found in Lee's Summit. Groupings of huge black walnut, hackberry and bur oak sheltered a rich biological garden beneath their limbs. Picture rolling prairie grasses with islands of trees dotting the landscape. This photo shows the first few months growth of grasses and forbs.